Ashley Cole talks up bright future for MLS as he eyes Chelsea return

Chelsea legend Ashley Cole believes Major League Soccer is heading in the right direction. The former Blue talked up the league but is looking ahead to a Chelsea return, as a coach or scout.

Cole told FourFourTwo that MLS has a promising future and he’s enjoying his stateside career. Although he admits that life is tougher as an older player.

Ashley Cole – ‘It will be a very big league’

“The league is definitely growing,” he said. “MLS is demanding. You have to travel a lot, which is the main problem for older guys.

“You’re on the plane for five to seven hours and it’s not easy. But the younger guys are learning from the marquee players. In five or six years it will be a very big league.”

Photo of Ashley Cole by Ashley Marshall – MLSGB

The 36 year old has his heart set on a Chelsea return but insists he is not finished yet: “I would like to go back to England and work for Chelsea in some capacity if I could, so that would be my first choice.

“Coaching or being a scout is something I’ve always considered and enjoyed while watching games. I try to nurture young players coming through, so it’s something I have in the back of my mind for after I finish playing. But I want to play for as long as I possibly can, because once you finish playing, you are done for life.”

Cole isn’t the only ex-Chelsea player who has talked about returning to the club. Recently departed John Terry has highlighted his ambition to one day manage the Blues. The two former England internationals could find themselves spearheading the future of the club.

If Cole is true to his word on playing for as long as he can, he could potentially lineup for Galaxy for two or more seasons. With the likes of 38 year old Andrea Pirlo – who is two years his senior – still playing in MLS.

Will Ashley Cole return to Chelsea as a coach? How much longer will he play for Galaxy?

Advertisements

Chelsea legend looking to return following MLS spell

Former Chelsea, Arsenal and Roma left back Ashley Cole is hoping for a return to West London after his playing days come to an end in Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy.

In an interview with Soccer AM, Cole revealed he is hoping to work in England after his spell in MLS, with Chelsea his preference: ‘I think I will probably look to go back one day and try to work. I want to work with something to do with Chelsea or scouting or kind of watching the young players develop. In a few years I’ll probably go back to England and try and find a job there.’

Chelsea fans won’t need reminding just how successful Cole was in his eight years at the club, where he arguably became the best left back in European football.

What would Cole bring to Chelsea as a coach?

So let’s have a look at what Ashley Cole could bring to Chelsea as a coach if he returns after his spell with LA Galaxy.

Embed from Getty Images

Winning mentality

Cole is a winner, he has won 16 trophies in his career so far, with nine of those coming at Chelsea.

Chelsea honours:
Premier League – 2009/10
FA Cup – 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2011/12
League Cup – 2006/07
UEFA Champions League – 2011/12
UEFA Europa League – 2012/13
FA Community Shield – 2009

He played an integral role throughout Chelsea’s Champions League winning campaign in the 2011/12 season and scored a penalty in their shootout against Bayern Munich.

Cole’s four FA Cup wins with Chelsea give him a total of seven tournament wins overall, including his three at Arsenal. He currently holds the record for the player with the most FA Cup winning medals.

The former England international has won the Premier League three times, twice with Arsenal and he is only one of nine players to reach over 100 caps for the national side.

Defensive positioning 

Cole is renowned for his defensive positioning, notably his clearances off the line. Galaxy fans have already experienced this attribute, with Cole making an incredible goal-line clearance against New York Red Bulls in their last MLS outing, albeit play was eventually bought back for offside. The left back also netted his first goal for the club in the same tie.

Watch: Ashley Cole’s goal-line clearance vs RBNY, credit: LA Galaxy official YouTube.

The former Chelsea man made two game-changing goal-line clearances in their Champions League run in 2012, one against Barcelona and the other against Napoli, both of which probably stopped his side from being dumped out of the tournament they went on to win.

Attacking flare 

Many full-backs are criticised for being too attacking or one attribute overweighing the other, either great going forward and weak at the back or vice-versa. Cole possesses great forward play as well as his defensive quality, an area he would arguably be able to guide upcoming players in.

Embed from Getty Images

In his 337 appearances for Chelsea, Cole netted seven goals and racked up 37 assists. His best scoring season came in their 2009/10 Premier League winning campaign, where he netted four goals, including an incredibly composed strike against Sunderland which saw him win Chelsea’s goal of the season award.

Discipline 

Cole has had his fair share of negative publicity throughout his career, but his discipline on the pitch is exemplary. In his 589 domestic career appearances he has received just five red cards, unfortunately for Galaxy fans two of those have come this season.

Embed from Getty Images

Cole insisted he still has the desire to play on for a while yet and believes the current Galaxy side should be looking at nothing less than winning it all. But at 35 his playing days will soon come to an end and it will be interesting to see where his career takes him from there.

Will Ashley Cole return to Chelsea as a coach? Would this be good for the club?

LA Galaxy willing to take “gamble” as Ashley Cole secures move

Ashley Cole finally made his move to Major League Soccer by signing with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday afternoon, after months of rumours and reports.

The 35-year-old English left-back joins the Galaxy after seeing his contract with AS Roma terminated a year early last week.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea star will join former England teammate, Steven Gerrard, in Los Angeles, while also teaming up with former Premier League rivals Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos.

Keane, Gerrard and Dos Santos currently occupy all three of LA Galaxy’s Designated Player slots, meaning Cole has not joined the club as a DP.

Many MLS fans will be glad to see Cole join the league, but there are also a large number of those who are questioning the decision to sign the three-time Premier League winner after referring to Major League Soccer as “a beach” when linked with a switch two years ago.

Galaxy head coach, Bruce Arena, is aware that there are those with doubts over whether Cole can be a success, but he thinks the signing will prove to be a risk that was worth taking.

“I think that he’s a good addition to our team, but only time will tell. Whether you think it’s a risk or a gamble, these are the risks and gambles that you take,” Arena said.

Embed from Getty Images

“There is a real upside of having Ashley Cole with the LA Galaxy. I think that the opportunity that he’s going to have in LA is going to be a good one for him, and he’s going to be able to contribute greatly to our team.

“Ashley Cole has a great history. We know that doesn’t necessarily translate on the field when you come to MLS but my interactions over the last couple of months show me that he’s a player that has a strong desire to play here in Los Angeles.”

Cole is vastly experienced, having racked up 107 England caps over his career, playing in three World Cups and two European Championships with the Three Lions.

He becomes the Galaxy’s eighth signing of the offseason, joining Jelle Van Damme, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee, Dan Kennedy, Emmanuel Boateng, Daniel Steres and Clement Diop.

Will Ashley Cole succeed in MLS with LA Galaxy? What are your thoughts on the move?

Ashley Cole undecided over LA Galaxy move despite deal being ‘close’

Ashley Cole’s proposed move to LA Galaxy is still hanging in the balance as the English left-back is mulling over “two or three options” as to where his career will likely finish.

Reports emerged earlier this week suggesting that Cole was “close” to securing a deal that would seem him move to MLS with LA Galaxy, but that does not seem to be the case at this stage.

The 35-year-old defender is believed to enjoy his lifestyle in Italy, where he has been since joining AS Roma in July 2014, and could even decide to remain where he is.

Embed from Getty Images

Crystal Palace and Manchester United have also been linked with Cole if the former Chelsea and Arsenal star opts to make a return to the Premier League.

LA Galaxy is still seen as Cole’s most likely destination but no deal appears to have been agreed as we enter 2016.

Galaxy head coach, Bruce Arena has revealed he is actively looking to bring in a few players before the start of the 2016 MLS season, with experienced additions a priority after seeing Omar Gonzalez and Juninho transferred to Mexican clubs.

“I would anticipate that we’ll add three or four players to our roster,” Arena said. “There are a lot of factors on why players come to our team as opposed to others.

“The Galaxy have a good reputation. Our players from Europe that have played here or are playing here are good spokespersons for our club.”

Embed from Getty Images

A move to LA Galaxy would see Cole link up with former England teammate Steven Gerrard as well as Irish striker Robbie Keane.

However, it would be highly unlikely that Cold would sign as a Designated Player, given the fact that the Galaxy already have Keane, Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos tied down on DP contracts.

Would Ashley Cole be a good signing for LA Galaxy? 

Podcast: MLS Cup reaction, Ashley Cole to NYCFC & Swansea’s troubles discussed

In the latest MLSGB podcast, Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about Sunday’s MLS Cup Final as Portland Timbers lifted a first ever championship.

The team also discuss recent reports linking Ashley Cole to New York City FC and the Premier League.

And we finish with Swansea City and Garry Monk’s struggles with the team in recent weeks.

Remember to send us your thoughts on Twitter: @MLSGB_

West Ham striker likely to seal MLS move this summer

West Ham United striker Carlton Cole is set to leave the Premier League club after revealing he would not be extending his contract which expires at the end of June, as a move to MLS looks likely.

Cole has been with West Ham for nine seasons, scoring a total of 68 goals, though he only netted twice in 23 league games this term.

He was in a similar position back in 2013 when it was announced he would be leaving the Hammers, but their failure to bring in a new striker saw Cole re-sign with the club the following season.

Now his time is coming to an end for good though and he revealed on Twitter today that he was preparing for a new adventure.

The 31-year-old forward was strongly linked with an MLS move then, and he is again now. Speaking to Sky Sports last month, Cole revealed he would be open to a move across the Atlantic.

“I’m quite open, I am an adventurous guy. I wouldn’t mind a bit of China or even the MLS, you never know. I’m really open and I just want to see what offers are on the table and take it from there.”

Cole will be a free agent when his contract expires in five weeks and so MLS clubs will be free to talk to the former Chelsea man about a possible move stateside.

He was previously linked with Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes and DC United in 2013 but reportedly preferred a move to LA Galaxy.

Embed from Getty Images

The Dynamo and San Jose are unlikely to move for Cole now, having signed DP strikers before the start of the season but DC could move again as they have a lack of depth in attack with Eddie Johnson unlikely to play soccer again.

Cole will also have offers from Championship clubs in England and so it will be interesting to see where his next step will take him.

Should Carlton Cole make the move to MLS this summer? Which clubs need him?

Ashley Cole reconsidering January MLS move to Orlando City – report

Ashley Cole and Major League Soccer. The two can’t seem to leave each other alone no matter how hard they try, and the English left-back is now being linked with a January move to Orlando City.

Cole has struggled since moving to Italy’s Serie A to join AS Roma and the club are now willing to move the experienced fullback on in the January transfer window, according to calcionews24.com.

Orlando City are being labelled as favourites for Cole’s transfer, though New York Red Bulls have also been suggested as a possible destination.

The former Chelsea star turns 34 next week but could offer Orlando so much experience in defence were he to change his view on MLS.

Embed from Getty Images

Cole referred to Major League Soccer as “an easy ride” when linked with a move in the summer, but his tough time in Italy may have changed his stance.

Orlando City are looking ahead to their first season in MLS and have only added Kaka as a designated player so far.

Cole would surely be a DP were he to join too, but many would see using a designated player slot on a left-back as a risky move, especially considering Cole’s past comments on the league.

Would Ashley Cole be a good acquisition for Orlando City despite his past comments?